I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
This works best when the two authors - who use the pen name P.T. Jones when they are writing together - don't try to sound hip or cool or like teens. Because it takes a lot of bravado, I believe, to do that and get away with it, and this felt more like effort, which is a shame because I really liked the characters and plot and book as a whole when it didn't try so hard to be like what teens are like.
See, the characters feel like people: full and fun and like they don't need to be super-hip. But they try, and I found myself rolling my eyes at some of those points. Still, at some point it let go of the effort, and it was a far stronger book. Without that, the characters shone through, and I really enjoyed the slow and steady pace of this novel. It wasn't clear where it was going at some points, but the journey was so fun it became the point. I wanted to see how the story between the characters unfolded even more than I wanted to know how the mystery was solved.
There was one minor nitpick, too. I thought I'd remember the page numbers, but apparently not. During a chase scene, bare feet are mentioned, and later wet socks are mentioned. Since the main character was running away, with her little brother on her back, she had no time to put on socks, nor would she think of doing so given the circumstances.
Overall, though, I liked this. I'm finding I like more of a slow burn, though, where time is taken with the characters. I wanted to write a longer review, but I've been having a migraine today. I ended up going inside while the boat for the whale watching came into port, and I couldn't stand comics in general, especially not Watchmen, so I finished this instead. I'm glad I made this choice, because this was just far too fun to put off any longer.